OBITUARY

Neil Allen Sanders

June 18, 1953April 8, 2019
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Neil Allen Sanders, of Rome, passed away peacefully on April 8, 2019. Born in Rome, he was the son of E. C. and Hazel Waits Sanders of Rockmart. He was preceded in death by a brother, Phil Sanders, of Winterville and his parents. Neil was the youngest in a family of five siblings. He is survived by brothers Jack Sanders, of Alexandria, Virginia, Wayne Sanders, of Rockmart, sister, Eleanor Sanders Dixon of Marietta, and a large extended family.

He graduated from Rockmart High School in 1971 and earned an undergraduate degree in English at West Georgia University. Early in his career, Neil was editor of the family newspaper, the Rockmart Journal. He later joined Daniel’s Funeral Home where he remained for more than 35 years, eventually becoming president. During those years, he was a beloved personal source of comfort for many bereaved Rome families. Known to many by his email name, “piano man,” Neil was a talented and popular pianist who provided music at civic events, parties and weddings, as well as funerals. He served as an organist at various churches and St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rome.

The family wishes to thank Neil’s many friends and especially his caregivers for their compassionate support and prayers during his long battle with cancer. At Neil’s request, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to St. Mary’s Catholic Church music department. A memorial mass in honor of Neil will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, April 13, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 911 North Broad Street, Rome, GA 30161. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall. A private graveside service will be held at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Rockmart.

  • FAMILY

  • Hazel Estil Waits Sanders, Mother
  • "E.C." Elbert Carlyle Sanders, Father
  • "Phil" Phillip Harold Sanders, Brother
  • Janice Smith Sanders, Sister-in-law
  • Jack Sanders, Brother
  • Brenda Sanders, Sister-in-law
  • Wayne Sanders, Brother
  • Jan Sanders, Sister-in-law
  • Eleanor Anne Sanders Dixon, Sister
  • Dick Dixon, Brother-in-law

Services

  • Memorial Mass Saturday, April 13, 2019
  • Receiving Friends / Reception Saturday, April 13, 2019
REMEMBERING

Neil Allen Sanders

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Tom Centola

April 12, 2019

Neil Sanders was one of the most kindhearted, caring and dearest person to live in this world. Neil was family to us. He was the true essence of love. When he told you he loved you he truly meant it. He especially loved his cats who were family to him as well. He had wonderful stories to share about each and every one of them. I am sure they are missing him. Neal was an extremely gifted musician who could play the piano and organ like no one else. Our Daddy had the honor of playing the mandolin along with Neal during the Saturday afternoon Mass at St. Mary's Catholic Church for many years. The music was heavenly. Daddy's personal favorite was Ava Maria. Neal just had a way of making it both fun and memorable. You simply could not leave church without feeling the Spirit in your heart and soul. Neal was always upbeat with a smile on his face. He never met a stranger. He always made you feel special when you were with him. There will never be another one like him. When God made Neal there was only one mold. An eternal footprint that simply cannot be replicated. We humbly ask that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ hold Neal Sanders in the Palms of His Strong and Loving Hands for all Eternity until we meet again. The heavens are filled with joy and music. The angels are singing and God is smiling. We will never forget him. NEVER!

Loretta Barwick

April 12, 2019

Neil and my mom, Ceil Santor were very good friends through the St. Mary's choir and Neil and I became friends through my mom. Before she passed away and my mom was sick, Neil brought much confort to my mom. Being part of the St. Mary's choir brought her enormous joy and Neil being in it with Ken, Betty and Jim and all were a great part of it. She and Neil had their private jokes and he had his humble way of calming her. Neil always had a special smile and kind word for everyone. He seemed to understand you. He was truly an angel put on earth and God and now called home to heaven!

Chris Goss

April 10, 2019

Neil played at my parents 25th Anniversary and remembered me when I worked at Magretta Hall and he played some Sundays for brunch. We often saw each other at the old locally owned gym that was in Gala Shopping Center. He was one of my favorite persons to run into at events and I always said hello and shook his hand (while he kept playing with the other) and chatted briefly. This breaks my heart. Sincerest condolences.

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